Working out with sand: What is all the hype about SandBells?

SandBells were first introduced in 2008, but are now changing the way personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts design their exercise programs. These spongy, sand-filled bags are constructed with a heavy-duty neoprene outside and leak-resistant stitching. This technology allows the user to drop, lift, swing, throw, toss, slam, glide with and even stomp on the SandBells without damaging them, yourself or other equipment.

Benefits of strength training for women

Strength training, also called resistance training or weight training, is any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increases in strength, tone, mass and/or endurance. Even though researchers have demonstrated the benefits of weight training for women for years, the number of women who are following this recommendation is still quite low. Research shows that only about 20 percent of women practice strength training weekly, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

What exactly is the “afterburn” and are you getting any?

Nowadays, many fitness programs are being marketed with the latest and greatest buzzword, “afterburn.” They say that you too can experience this post-workout phenomenon if you exercise a certain way. And it sounds great, doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to burn extra calories long past your sweat session? So let’s take a look at what exactly this afterburn effect is and how you can get it.

Are your blood vessels aging gracefully? High-intensity intervals may help

Blood circulation is an important key to your life, health and vitality. It brings oxygen and nutrients to cells throughout the entire body. It stimulates metabolism and muscle growth. It helps you detoxify from excess chemicals and harmful substances. It helps repair damaged cells.

Seniors can improve health with just 15 minutes of walking a day

“I want to do exercise, but the idea is boring,” said one senior citizen patient, glumly. Fair enough. Who really jumps at the word “exercise”? This most beneficial of pastimes pales as a suggestion when compared with “baklava,” “Downton Abbey marathon,” or “cocktail party.” And the World Health Organization says that we are supposed to get 30 minutes per day, five days per week, at a moderate (fast walking) or vigorous (running) pace! This is enough to daunt a great many people.

WrestleMania deaths and dangers lurking in the gym

A recent article reported the premature death of another former WrestleMania participant and a pattern of early deaths among other participants. Compared to statistics for the general population, death rates seem to be much higher among this group. So what is going on? It’s no secret that gym users typically care about their body shape and weight. But some go too far for the physique they want and actually risk their health.

Exercise isn’t just about your weight, it’s about enjoying your life

Of course you know exercise is important for your health. Of course you've heard that 150 minutes of cardio a week is recommended for overall fitness and wellness. So, why do you need to read yet another article about exercise? Because exercise can help you have more energy, feel happier, get better sleep, improve your sex life and reduce your risk for serious health problems at the same time!

Are you FUNctional … enough?

Functional training seems to be an over-used term in today’s fitness and wellness industry, but what is it? It is a way to classify exercise and refers to training the body for the activities performed in daily life. Functional training has its origins in rehabilitation. Physical and occupational therapists would refer to it when retraining patients who had been in surgery or accidents to go back to their normal lives or jobs, that is, to function in an independent way again.

Yoga for heart health

Developed in India 3,000 years ago, yoga is a mind and body practice with historical origins in ancient Indian philosophy. Yoga helps create strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body. While there are more than 100 different types of yoga, typically sessions are comprised of breathing exercises, meditation and holding various postures (sometimes called asanas or poses) that stretch and flex various muscle groups. While holding a yoga pose, you focus inward. You try to become more mindful of your body, as well as to focus and quiet the mind.

New Year’s resolution 2015: Fill in the gaps in your workout routine!

New Year’s advertising for gym memberships is as predictable as after-Christmas sales. This is the time of year when we are all at our most virtuous. But workouts should be complete to achieve the dazzling results you want. For example, running won’t strengthen your arms and powerlifting won’t make you flexible.

Is the nitric oxide promise for better workouts for real?

People looking for the latest thing to get a better workout with better results are increasingly turning to nitric oxide (NO). In addition to more productive workouts with greater workout tolerance, there are claims for increases in muscle mass and cardiovascular fitness to boot. As you can imagine, medical supplement stores are working to meet this demand by offering a variety of powders and supplements with so-called nitric oxide enhancers. But is the hype and promise real or will NO go the way of other exercise fads of the past? The answer may surprise you!

Boost long-term heart health in just 5 minutes a day

Think you don’t have time for exercise? A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests as little as 5 to 10 minutes of running a day, even at slow speeds, can significantly lower your risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease, such as a heart attack or stroke. This is great news, considering the top barrier to exercise is finding the time.

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